How would you like to be a big player at Weird Beard

My name is Bryan Spooner and I am the beard behind Weird Beard.

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I started Weird Beard Brew Co. back in 2013. There were a few people involved in various ways right at the start, but ultimately it was Gregg Irwin and myself who took the plunge.

We both had other jobs at the time. I was working full time at the BBC, which left me little time to focus on the set-up of the brewery but I did have some savings.

So in the beginning, I put in more capital while Gregg put in more hours, doing the leg, vocal and brain work of opening a brewery. That is not to say I didn't get my hands dirty. During the set-up phase, I wrote a weekly blog on how things were going:


The idea from the beginning was for Gregg and myself to share everything, but it soon became clear who was better suited to certain roles in the business.

Gregg is an outgoing 'people' kinda person, who had already spent a lot of time on the business side of things. He was also not a great fan of cleaning, which brewing is mostly. So he naturally fell into the sales and business part of things. I was quieter, shyer, and came from an engineering background, so was a lot more at home hiding away inside the brewery, brewing and packaging the beer. So I naturally fell into the operations/production side of things. I have improved massively over the years, heading up plenty of events etc., but it is still a bit out of my comfort zone. We both very much contributed to the recipe development though, with Gregg's beers still very much a mainstay in our core line up today.

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For various reasons, covered in THIS BLOG, Gregg decided to move on. With our main sales person following shorty after. We hired a new sales person and a financial controller. It soon became apparent that as a business, we had not been doing as well as we had thought for quite some time.

So we quickly parted company with our external accountant, who had let some very big mistakes go unchanged for some time. And set to work trying to get our books in order. Unfortunately it was a little late for a few decisions that had just been signed, sealed and delivered. We had just brought a large walk in cold store, and signed a contract on the building. Quite frankly, this was a luxury we could not afford, but we had agreed to. This meant we could not price our beer as competitively as we may have liked.``


I don’t think I am biased when I say that Weird Beard has a great reputation and huge potential. We are invited to international beer festivals on almost a monthly basis. We have been around since almost the beginning of the London craft beer explosion. But I am not afraid to admit that I have not had the business knowledge to run the business, sales and production. The people we did hire, for various reasons, have not all worked out.

We have learned a lot over the past two years. What I have learnt most of all are my own limitations. I am still not the man to sit and chat on the phone for hours. I am an introvert, and I have come to terms with that. But this does mean that I am not the man to single-handedly sit at the helm of a brewery. I need help, I need support, but I also need to share a mutual vision.


A number of people have sat in the comfy seat in what I liked to call Gregg's Memorial Office, until I tore the walls down, literally and metaphorically. But no-one who has sat there has quite gelled with what I feel Weird Beard is all about, and how we work together as a team.

Don't get me wrong, and don't mistake this for lack of ambition. We built up Weird Beard with our own hard work and our own money (plus some small investment from family and friends). When we had some money in the bank, we brought a new piece of kit, ticking off the brewer's Christmas list. We got a long way into this journey without any loans or other funding streams, and this is how I liked it. As long as we were making the beer we wanted to drink, our staff were getting paid, and we didn't have debtors beating down the door, I was happy. The beer and brewing world has changed a lot and I can't afford to let it pass us by. I simply do not have the time, skills or any more money to invest. But I am not ready to give up.

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With all this in mind, I am on the look out for a new business partner. Someone with experience and vision. Someone who is ideally happy to invest a little bit of money to acquire shares in the company.

The person would be added to the board of directors, and will draw a salary for the work they do. The day-to-day work will be all those super happy fun things that 90% of people forget about when starting a brewery, which include:

  • Accounts. We can farm a lot of accounting out to a Spreadsheet Ninja in an office, but there is a certain amount we need to do in-house,.

  • Chasing money. We all know people don't like to pay their bills. It is shocking just how many business models are based around not paying for anything until pushed. So we need someone to do that pushing.

  • Paying bills. Or juggling as it could be known. Once we secure payment from customers we need to push that into the direction of our own supply chain.

  • Paying our fine team members on time.

  • Liaising and being the main point of contact for all business stuff: utilities, landlords, HMRC, the list is endless.

  • Being the general authority and go-to person in the office. We have three buildings currently, and I don’t get to spend much time in the office. Making sure we have all the correct paper work and the right times to be a fully functioning brewery.

  • This is by no means an exhaustive list. There will be things I have forgotten about. Maybe even not been aware of. It will be your job to be aware of all this. Which is why experience is essential.

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Ideally this person will be someone I already know or have good links with, or with links to a well-respected brewery. Part of the reason past relationships have ended was the lack of that familiarity. There needs to be some history there, we need to be able to talk frankly with each other without fear of it being taken the wrong way, as much as possible. Someone I can bounce ideas off of, who will tell me if I am being a fool. Someone who knows the business of brewing, of selling, and of having fun while doing it.

So I lay my heart and mind bare, and come to the brewing world with a plea for help. But I also believe I bring an amazing opportunity to be part of one of the original London Craft breweries, and to be the person who pushes that brewery head first into the future. Where we can continue to brew the beer we want, spread the good word all around the world, innovate, and have a lot of fun in the process.

If you are interested and would like to find out more, contact me on the details below for an informal chat.

Weird Beard Bryan"


Ho Ho Holiday (Xmas) 2018 Open Day Tap List

Coming up this weekend on Sunday 2nd December 12-8pm is our final brewery shindig of 2018.


We always offer our freshest brews, new releases, super special recipes, special reserved stock and collabs. You'll find a comprehensive range of all our current beers available for drink-in at our unit 5 brewery and for take-out at our unit 9 warehouse. Several beers will be on draft.

Not just beers are covered, so are all your merch/christmas gift needs. Brand Spanking New Posters will be on sale, while stocks last.

Not just beers are covered, so are all your merch/christmas gift needs. Brand Spanking New Posters will be on sale, while stocks last.

We’ve got a festive TWELVE STOUTS OF CHRISTMAS and MULLED STOUT to offer, plus non-dark beers so expect some rotation in what's pouring over the course of the day.




















We always have stock of plenty of bottles, for drinking in at unit 5 and for take-out at unit 9. Make sure to don't miss out on the hard-to-get-hold-of beers. Several bombers on sale, several barrel aged rarities and lots of specials/collabs which you’d probably struggle to find elsewhere. Come fill your boots people!

🎅 🎅🎅 See you Sunday 🎅🎅🎅

September 2018 Brewery Open Day & Tap Room

Here comes the weekend and with it, comes the next installation of our Open Days. Below is what we have in store for you folks who make the effort to come over to our West London brewery. We've surely got some treats lined up this Sunday 2nd Sept!

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We always offer our freshest brews, new releases, super special recipes, special reserved stock and collabs. You'll find a comprehensive range of all our current beers available for drink-in at our unit 5 brewery and for take-out at our unit 9 warehouse. 7 beers will be on, generally at all times, so expect some rotation in what's pouring.





MOSAIC hop edition












We always have stock of plenty of bottles, for drinking in at unit 5 and for take-out at unit 9. Make sure to don't miss out on the hard-to-get-hold-of beers including:

  • Sadako (Our Imperial Stout) various editions of Barrel Aged: brown wax and white wax in super purdyyyy bombers

  • Rum AND Tequila Barrel Aged Follow the Worms (Agave Chipotle Chilli Mexican Export Stout) Hereford Beer House collab in 660ml bombers also

  • Rum AND also Bourbon Barrel Aged Sadagothicko (Barrel Aged Imperial Stout) Pig and Porter collab, *BREWERY EXCLUSIVES ONLY*

  • Rum Barrel Aged God of the Cold White Silence (Barrel Aged White Stout) Steel City collab

  • Rum Barrel Aged Fade to Black (Barrel Aged Black IPA)

See you Sunday :)

Source: Sept18taplist

Summer 2018 Open Day Tap List

Sunday 3rd June is not far off and with it, is our Open Day. So, what is going to be pouring?

Event in, event out, we always offer our freshest brews, new releases, super special recipes and collabs. You'll find a comprehensive range of all our current beers available for drink-in at our unit 5 brewery and for take-out at our unit 9 warehouse.






OLICANA hop edition


MOSAIC hop edition





We always have stock of plenty of bottles, for drinking in at unit 5 and for take-out at unit 9. Make sure to don't miss out on the hard-to-get-hold-of beers including:

  • Something Barrel Aged (Barrel Aged Double India Stout
  • Rum AND also Bourbon Barrel Aged Sadagothicko (Barrel Aged Imperial Stout) Pig and Porter collab, *BREWERY EXCLUSIVES ONLY* 
  • Rum Barrel Aged God of the Cold White Silence (Barrel Aged White Stout) Steel City collab
  • Habitual Offender (Belgium Inspired Barleywine) Northern Monk collab bombers

See you there!


As The #BeastFromTheEast moves on and our Open Day draws nearer, we've thought to let you know what the Sunday 11th March, at our place, holds in store.

Pouring on draft will be only super special brews and collabs. You'll find a comprehensive range of our core, seasonal, occasional and specials available for drink-in at our unit 5 brewery too and for take-out at our unit 9 warehouse.



Amarillo hop edition


Calypso hop edition


Sorachi Ace and Wolf hops, a.k.a "Sorachi-Wolfcub" edition






One-off CASK special:



We always have stock of plenty of bottles, for drinking in at unit 5 and for take-out at unit 9. Make sure to don't miss out on the hard-to-get-hold-of beers including:

  • Something Something Barrel Aged (Barrel Aged Double India Stout)
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Perle (Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Coffee Milk Stout)
  • Bearded Nurse (Barley Wine) Tequila Barrel Aged Edition
  • Sadako (Impy Stout) MULTIPLE Barrel Aged Edition bombers
  • Follow the Worms (Agave Chili Stout) Hereford Beer House collab bombers
  • Crossing Over (Reverse Black and Tan) Time and Tide collab bombers
  • Habitual Offender (Belgium Inspired Barleywine) Northern Monk collab bombers


Bring yourselves. Bring your friends. Bring your Ma, it's #Mother'sDay after-all, and she'll get a beer on us.

Of Wolf And Man - a beer with quite a tale behind it

Anybody who knows me (Weird Beard Tasha here) will know I love wolves and I love stories. That is a random introduction right there but, given that my name is Natasha Wolf and I had a sizeable input in the beer concerned you’re just going to have to embrace my love of both these things. So grab a bevvie, settle down and let me begin the story behind “Of Wolf And Man”...

Back in the day! (Some true baby-faced beer folks pictured here).

Back in the day! (Some true baby-faced beer folks pictured here).

Back in the Olden Days, when Weird Beard first started in 2013, before I was part of the cog-works of the brewery I was offered the opportunity to brew here as part of BrewDog’s first ever Collabfest. The bar I then worked for, BrewDog Camden, excitedly paired up with Weird Beard to make an American Wheat Ale. 13 or so of us made the epic trek to Weird Beard and to-date, with 5 Collabfest brewdays under my belt, that experience was by far the best. Not only was it super fun-filled, informative and exhilarating, with a huge team of enthusiastic beer folks and friends, it was my very first brew ever. Add Bryan’s iPod on shuffle, a blast of my teenage past with Coheed and Cambria coming on, and life as I knew it would never be the same for me after that.


So, the beer that was made on this occasion was Weird Beard’s Gyle 29. Being ultra-keen and signing up to return to the brewery for dry-hopping, packaging and labelling with a few others of the BD Camden team, I really felt I contributed to the beer we brewed that day. Weird Beard (I say this as at this point of the story I wasn’t employed there) released it initially as “Camden Beard” which eventually after all this faff happened, was renamed “K*ntish Town Beard”. For years on after it has remained a main-stay in the Weird Beard beer portfolio. Now that I have been employed at Weird Beard for many years, it is a constant positive reminder of my cutting my teeth in the Brewing World.

My narrative so far has given you the back-story to “K*ntish Town Beard” (KTB) but there’s more to it!

We mark our centenary brews here at Weird Beard by scaling up a beer that is in important to us. Our followers and fans will know this but in case you didn’t:

  • Gyle 100: Black Perle 3.8% (Coffee Milk Stout) scaled up to Double Perle 8.6% (Impy Coffee Milk Stout)

  • Gyle 200: Sorachi Face Punch 3.9% (Session IPA) scaled up to Defacer 11.1% (Triple IPA)

  • Gyle 300: Saison 14 5.5% (Farmhouse Saison) scaled up to Saison 28 10.3% (Impy Saison)

  • Gyle 400: Decadence 5.5% (Luxurious Stout) scaled up to Opulence 10.2% (Madagascan Vanilla Impy Stout)

And so to mark Gyle 500, it called for another special something. Since we have a very open-book policy here and absolutely anyone may suggest recipes to be brewed, I suggested we imperialised KTB and that idea was met with a lot of enthusiasm. I cannot write beer recipes so Bryan designed the amplified recipe, keeping all the ingredients essentially the same as KTB. Weird Beard Ben and I made the beer on our 500th brewday. Besides me being the token Vegan of the brewery and Ben being the token Vegetarian of the brewery, the cool thing about this beer is that it's made by a Wolf and a Man. If you think that’s pretty witty, you’ve yet to cotton on that this beer is also named after a truly incredible song by one of the biggest Rock bands of all time. We’ve named more beers after songs by this particular band than any other band, and we’re not going to be stopping that anytime soon. Have a listen!

Being a bigger version of KTB the grain-bill weighed in hefty, making the mashing in perhaps not my most enjoyable. Over 20% of the grist was wheat and it’s this key ingredient that makes up the thick and delicious body of the beer. Packed full of tangerine meets grapefruit; there’s a lot of pithy citrus in the aroma and following through into the taste. While the dry & bitter flavours kick in, you get full-frontal pine from the American hops we’ve used, at various additions in the boil and also for dry-hopping to create a layered hop profile. Like I said, keeping things just as in KTB, we used the same trio of Willamette, Cascade and Centennial to be reminiscent of the flavours we love of the inspirational, original beer.

Thanks to our wonderful artist  Chris  for whipping up the label, similar in style to KTB yet very much also featuring what looks like my very own Lup'in.

Thanks to our wonderful artist Chris for whipping up the label, similar in style to KTB yet very much also featuring what looks like my very own Lup'in.

Join us in celebrating our milestone and enjoying the first sips of "Of Wolf And Man" at the newest bar of the The Craft Beer Co. fleet.

Tapping tonight 18/01/2017 at 6pm at The Craft Beer Co Old St, with a few other brews of ours rocking the taps for the event too!



We've got a little something new in store for this brewery Open Day and Taproom. Despite the horror-film reference, you are in for a real treat. We're essentially trialing our possibly "permabar". So come down and see, plus get in on the festive action.

Pouring on draft will be only super special brews and collabs. You'll find a comprehensive range of our core, seasonal, occasional and specials available for drink-in at our unit 5 brewery too and for take-out at our unit 9 warehouse.



Amarillo, Olicana and UK Cascade hopping!


It wouldn't be Christmas without a seasonal beer and despite our loathing of mentioning the C-word anytime before December, we have made a tasty festive's ours.








Be sure to nab some really hard-to-get-hold-of beers including:

  • Bearded Nurse (Barley Wine) Tequila Barrel Aged Edition
  • I Scream For You Bruce (Ice Scream Pale) London Amateur Brewers collab
  • Sadako (Impy Stout) MULTIPLE Barrel Aged Edition bombers
  • Follow the Worms (Agave Chili Stout) Hereford Beer House collab bombers
  • Crossing Over (Reverse Black and Tan) Time and Tide collab bombers
  • Habitual Offender (Belgium Inspired Barleywine) Northern Monk collab bombers



Wanted - Sales Manager

Weird Beard are a small, independent brewery based in West London. After almost five years of steady growth, we have decided we need to move from reactionary sales to active, meaning we can get our message and beers out to a wider audience. To achieve this we are looking for an experienced sales manager to take us to the the next level.

The role

  • Manage & grow key relationships in the areas of export, wholesale and the local London market.
  • Working directly with the founder, along side our financial controller, warehouse manager and events & communications manager, and manage currently one sales/dray person.
  • Be a brand ambassador out in the field.
  • Use experience to negotiate new relationships, manage discounts & incentives for customers, while influencing brew schedule and pricing.
  • There will be opportunity to work events in the UK and internationally.
  • We also actively encourage all our staff to get involved in recipe development and the chance to brew.


  • At least 1 year experience leading a sales team within a brewery. Or 3 years as a member of a sales team. (Sorry, managing a bar does not count).
  • A good understanding and experience of the market and beer/bar scene.
  • A keen love and knowledge of beer, along with a good palate.
  • Needs to be highly motivated, friendly, sociable and articulate.
  • Good IT knowledge, with confidence use of the usual software (Excel, Word) and ability to learn new.

We are a tight, small team that is passionate about beer, music and what we do. If this sounds like the place for, drop us an email with CV and why you would excel in this position to

Full-time Dray/Warehouse/Sales Person Required

A bit about us

Weird Beard Brew Co Ltd. is a small (10 barrel), independently owned brewery based in Hanwell, West London. Well known and established in the London beer scene and beyond, we have been brewing since early 2013 and have built a reputation for brewing consistently high quality and innovative new beers. We have a core range, but are in no way restrained by it, releasing at least one new beer each month.

We are expanding our resources, with both new equipment and new staff in vital roles. The focus on getting our product to the customers as fresh and conveniently as possible, with a friendly, knowledgeable brand ambassador, means we are bringing deliveries in-house.

About the role

We are looking for an adaptable, beer loving, hardworking dray, warehouse and sales person. The role will be split between each of these jobs, spending 2-3 days a week on deliveries, 1 day a week working in the warehouse, 1 day sales support.

Your role will include (but is not limited to):

Dray Duties

·         Being responsible for delivery of cask, keg and bottled beer to London accounts. This will sometimes include going outside of the London area.

·         Collecting any empties that pubs may have, keeping a log of what you have returned.

·         Being a friendly and knowledgeable representative of Weird Beard to bars and shops.

·         Communicating with the sales team regarding orders, invoices and volumes.

·         Working with the warehouse team in building up and loading orders.

·         Whilst delivering products, giving out samples to promote new and exciting launches we have coming up.

·         Maintaining a good upkeep of the vehicle

·         Handling cash and making sure that paperwork is filled out correctly.

Warehouse Duties

·         Labelling bottles (with the use of an automated system).

·         Building up large pallet orders safely.

·         Helping with deliveries into and out of the warehouse.

Sales Assistant

·         Helping the sales team on busy days.

·         Confidently dealing with telephone and email orders.

·         Using our CRM system effectively to input and manage customer orders.

·         Serving walk in customers who want to buy retail stock to take away.

·         Serving customers at the Weird Beard bar during open days.

·         Covering the sales team during periods of sick leave or annual leave.

Other Duties

·         Working at events for Weird Beard pouring our beer.

·         Occasionally assisting on brew days or packaging days.

Required Skills

·         ESSENTIAL: Full Clean UK driving licence held for over one year.

·         ESSENTIAL: Ability to speak, read and write English language.

·         Job involves heavy lifting and manual handling, bending and sitting for long periods.

·         Must be able to lift over 40kg.

·         Excellent customer relationship skills.

·         Must be 25 and over for insurance purposes.

·         Good knowledge and passion for craft beer.

·         Forklift licence would be an advantage.

·         Occasional weekend work may be required, but time off in lieu will be provided.

Salary 23K per year.

Apply to for the attention of Rachel

Closing Date: 13th June.



Gumball - Go Suck On This!

Watch out WEIRDos! Today we're rolling out one helluva big juicy gumball. This is a **Sweet New Beer Alert**

Our latest offering, Gumball is a double IPA (DIPA) packed full of candied fruit flair.


It's a traditional DIPA in its components but not in its composition. As you can tell from the ABV, this is a big beer but its drinkability belies its strength.

We’ve kept the malt bill simple, with a combination of pale malt, lager malt and oats. But we brought it all together with a long, low temperature mash, which maximises the fermentability of the wort, and dries out the beer. The secret of a good DIPA is to hit a low final gravity, to take the weight out of the final product.

You will taste some sweetness here but that’s from the hops, rather than the malt. We were trying to recreate memories of gumballs sucked on during childhood outings to the arcade at the British seaside. We took Centennial and Simcoe from the American camp, and Motueka and Galaxy from our Australasian cuzzies to culminate in an intense fruit cocktail.

The hop selection was critical here, but we also treated them a little differently this time around. Rather than adding the hops to the end of the boil, we lowered the temperature and let the hops stand in the wort for an hour. This clever technique is (unsurprisingly) known as a hop stand and its purpose is to retain more of the hop oils.

Then there’s the double dry hopping. Instead of putting all of the dry hops in towards the end of fermentation, half were added immediately after high krausen (when the yeast is at peak activity). The biotransformation of the hop compounds releases intense fruitiness that would otherwise remain locked in. Upon final gravity, these hops were dropped out and we hit the beer with a second dosage. To get the most of this addition, it was recirculated in the fermenter a number of times.

The bitterness hasn't been neglected either, thanks to our typical first wort addition, which is always on the generous side. This creates a definite bite to balance things out and imitates the tang you get from a gumball.

It all comes together to create a DIPA that goes down just a bit too easily.

You remember how to play. Put your coin in, pull the lever, and let them drop.  

Opulence - its making

Hey WEIRDos... (Weird Beard aficionados)

As this is the first time I have taken to the airwaves at WB Towers, I guess I should introduce myself. I’m Ben, a brewer here at WB, and I want to tell you a story about a journey of opulence stretching from Madagascar to Hanwell.

This is me...

This is me...

Back in January we hit a milestone – our 400th brew. And the WEIRDos out there will know we celebrate our centurion brews in style. The brief was simple: take an existing WB beer, beef it up and give it a damn good twist. Decadence was the chosen victim this time around, and we were going to lace it with vanilla.

Decadence is a great base on which to build an imperial stout. It’s a proper, honest ale, rich in malty goodness and appropriately bitter. We wanted to stay true to the original – it just needed to be more; more of everything. And what’s ‘more’ than decadence? Opulence. Name and vision established, we got on with the recipe.

We knew we wanted huge body, and an increase in mash temperature alone wasn’t going to achieve that. We definitely weren’t going down the lactose route either – personally, I think that’s been overused by brewers lately.

If you’re looking for body, a good place to start is with oats. Decadence already has a substantial dose but we upped it as much as we dared in a single infusion mash, really pushing it to the limit. This added a rich creaminess that complements the star of the show, the vanilla.

We weren’t worried about the potential astringency of a heavy oat addition – this is an imperial stout after all. We were just concerned about getting a stuck mash. The brewers amongst you will know what I’m talking about. It’s like trying to run off liquid from a thick porridge.

The hopping schedule was suitably scaled up to balance out the additional sweetness from the increased Original Gravity. The bitterness would also interplay nicely with the deep, dark flavour of the vanilla.

My slicing and scraping of high grade Madagascan vanilla beans

My slicing and scraping of high grade Madagascan vanilla beans

In its purist form, vanilla is one of those intoxicating ingredients that conjures up images of far-off lands. It’s seriously like a drug. We bought the best raw ingredient our money could buy. The moment our boxes of class A Madagascan vanilla arrived, we knew they were going to lift Opulence to another level. The huge pods were so plump and supple, we couldn’t wait to slice one open. It was stuffed full of caviar, the main flavour component of the pod, which filled the room with its aroma. With one down, only another 499 left to hand slice and scrape. Time-consuming but well worth it for a very special 400th brew.

(Photo credit: Dom Hemy)

(Photo credit: Dom Hemy)

Much like a fine wine or a whisky, the mark of a really good imperial stout is the length and complexity of its finish. The drinker is taken on a journey, rising and falling along a wave of flavours. Here, it’s the vanilla that’s providing the transportation, through the nuances of this dark and daring stout. Go enjoy the ride.

Opulence is being lavishly launched at the Drafthouse Westbridge on Friday 28th April from 6pm with the option to Meet the Brewer (myself). More details here and on our Events Page

Spring 2017 Open Day Beer List

With the weekend fast approaching, we thought to whet your appetite for all the delicious beers that will be on offer at our brewery Open Day and Taproom.

Pouring on draft will be only super special brews and collabs. You'll find a comprehensive range of our core, seasonal, occasional and specials available for drink-in at our unit 5 brewery too and for take-out at our unit 9 warehouse.


Top Ranken Bitter *Hop City Special, LONDON release*

Sunshine-sweet mix of summer-fruits and hops muddled with the banana and light spice quality you get of Belgian beers. We've made a sup-on all day long beer, inspired by our favourite Belgian bitter pale ale, that showcases "hot side" additions of whole leaf Motueka and Ella hops. A highlight at Hop City Festival Leeds last week, this beer is pouring first in London at our Open Day.



Number 5 in our ‘Single Hop Series’, hopped with Centennial and brewed with English Ale Yeast to kick out more fruitiness, this is a brewery favourite DIPA we release once a year. It is in-your-face hoppy, resinous, floral but mildly sweet to balance the bitterness.


Kwantum State *Wild Weather Collab*

This collab beer was brewed at Wild Weather Ales. An easy-drinking, fresh and zippy saison, with big Kaffir lime flavour. Zesty and floral with some white grape sweetness from Nelson Sauvin and lemony Sorachi Ace hops, it's very refreshing.


Fade to Wit *Left Hand Brewing Collab*

Brewed at the amazing Left Hand Brewing in Colorado, this is a black Witbier, inspired by the fact both us and Left Hand have beers called "Fade to Black". You get roasty dark malt character paired with crisp citrus from Curacao Orange Peel and spicy Coriander. A super small amount of this beer has made it over this side of the pond! 


Mesca Ulad - Ulster Exile B.A. Veda Porter *launching*

Launching this same weekend in Northern Ireland where the Ulsters are at, this is a brand spanking new and special beer. It is made of Veda (Irish malted) bread and has been barrel aged in The Quiet Man whiskey barrels. Expect sticky, date-y, malt flavours meets Irish dry porter paired with vanilla and oak sweetness. More info on this special brew can be found on the blog


SADAKO *Rare Cask*

Our deliciously rich, complex and intense imperial stout that boasts dark, rich malts, coffee and molasses and is aged in the brewery for at least 6 months before release, will be tapped on cask at our Open Day. There will only be the one pin of this, so don't miss out to avoid disappointment!


Be sure to nab some really hard-to-get-hold-of beers including:

  • Bearded Nurse (Barley Wine) Tequila Barrel Aged Edition
  • Boring Brown Beer (Imperial Best Bitter) Bourbon Barrel Aged Edition
  • Mesca Ulad (Barrel Aged Veda Porter) bombers
  • Sadako (Impy Stout) Red Wine Barrel Aged Edition bombers
  • Follow the Worms (Agave Chili Stout) Hereford Beer House collab bombers

For all general details, click here and join the event here!

Packing it in with 500ml Packaging

The subject of "packaging" is one very hot topic in Beer these days. And when we say these days, it's been heavily discussed for the best part of last year when talking about canning and for a lengthy time before then over cask. Plus, there was a fair bit on different types of kegs. So, we can all get it straight that "packaging" is not something a brewery can take lightly.

Being what the Americans would call a 'production brewery'; one which makes beer and sells the product to others to primarily dispense rather than serving at the source, our packaging is very important. Making the right decisions about it, means we are likely to get more of our beers to others and because we care about beer a lot, we want to do so in the best way possible. Since we're not at the stages of moving to canning for all its benefits, we've put adequate emphasis on reviewing our current packaging. It's our decision, therefore, to make the move away from 500ml bottles, except from our sharing beers (a.k.a big ass stouts and the like) which will remain in 660ml bombers.

What is this change about? So, originally we packaged almost all out sub 5.5% beers into 500ml bottles, such as Little Things that Kill, Dark Hopfler and Black Perle to name a few. We did this because we quite like to drink a pints' worth of those lower ABV beers and a 500ml bottle would cater to those preferences of ours. However, for a long while now we've been asked "why the different bottle sizes?", trying to express our reasons of doing so, sometimes met with confusion by customers who think we package all beer in both formats and noticing an increasing demand from our accounts for 330ml.

In a nutshell, customers and pubs prefer 330ml bottles and principally because it's the standard size all over the world. Shelf and fridge space are better suited to one size ie: 330ml bottles. Our 500ml bottles sometimes look side-lined from the others. On a related subject, the aesthetics of 330ml bottles appeals more to restaurants and within fine-dining where they have begun serving bottled beers as an option of drink at meals. All these factors don't entirely exclude our 500ml bottled beers but did show signs that maybe our want for that size of packaging wasn't going to get those beer as widely enjoyed. We've always said we brew what we like to drink and we certainly don't like to jump on any ol' bandwagon; we do feel that we're making the right move here for our beers and for our customers. For every batch of beer, although our manual bottling days will be longer and harder, there will be more bottles out there. We're willing to embrace that and hope those of you who are fond of the 500ml bottles, don't feel too put out by the change.

As of this week, Dark Hopfler is now in 330ml and we'll start rolling out the others shortly.

We may be standardising our bottle size but you can still count on the same exciting beers within the container!

Brewing Bad with Wild Weather - our collabs' story

We often say it, but it remains true every time, we LOVE collaborations. With Valentine's Day been and gone, there is no exaggeration there. We genuinely are thrilled to write-up a new recipe, push a new concept, learn from others, play on others' brewkit and work together on a truly collaborative beer venture. But even they can grow predictable. At Weird Beard we are not those kinds of people! When Wild Weather Ales (WW) were looking to brew with us, we thought to do the whole collaboration thing a little different...

Bryan suggested we brew a different beer at each of our places quite close in dates and that we blended the two brews together, to release 3 new, collaborative beers. Our idea, although inspired by a black-and-tan, was to not be so obvious and to brew 2 beers other than an stout and IPA. There is no better way to hash out the concept of a recipe than over a few beers, so Bryan and Iain from WW met at the Lyric to do just that. I got to tag along.

Saying that, I wasn't just a "fly on the wall" and in writing this blog, I want to share a fair bit of the beers' design processes. I want the message to get across that this collaboration in particular was not a simple, neat exchange of a recipe sheet via email, which can be the case. First up there were a lot of fun options to brew and to blend which were discussed as we got some rounds in. I remember a Black IPA being suggested to be possibly blended with a Wheat beer as one idea. I also remember both sides were adamant we'd use Sorachi Ace. Now that won't come as a surprise to you.* And on the subject of Sorachi Ace, we got talking about the flavour and aroma profile of the hop and how it can be super coconutty, especially in darker beers. An example you may know is Fade To Black, our black IPA hopped with Sorachi. You may recall, and kudos if you do, that we even amplified the coconut flavour by putting the beer in BrewDog Camden's Hopinator with dessicated coconut at a tap-takeover and we even brewed a coconut version of the beer once.

On the subject of coconuts, and since Bryan and I had recently returned from a month-long trip to the States where our final days in Colorado had my hop-wrecked palate craving nothing but Oskar Blues Death By Coconut, we were inspired. The dark beer element would be a coconut stout! We wanted some chocolate and some coconut, nothing as sweet as Death By Coconut if you've ever had it; certainly more subtle so the blend of the 2 beers wouldn't be overpowering.

Which brings us to the second collab. The Wheat idea, with all the banana going on, didn't appeal to us. We had some thoughts of a Chocolate Orange Coconut mix and when we heard "oranges" we got to Saison. I won't say the minds of brewers are as simple as that, trust me I do not attempt to completely track Bryan's thought processes, but flavour matching and complimenting is key. Particularly in this instance. Adding orange peel to a saison wasn't too thrilling for us and after hearing of WW's antics with strawberries, peaches and all sorts of other flavourful adjuncts, we looked to their beers for more inspiration. Their Kaffir Lime Pale (Plain Sailing Weather) ignited that and the concept of a Kaffir Lime Saison, then blended with Coconut Stout seemed wild but not crazy. With my mini-Kanken stuffed with Wild Weather cans, our brainstorming session was over and the next stages of recipe development needed paving.  

Now this part is more lazy chemistry than Breaking Bad, but Bryan and myself had a night of preparing a dried coconut tincture, a suitable stout of our choice, Kaffir Lime Pale can, our Saison 14 (because it has loads of lovely Sorachi in it) and multiple glassware. We infused the stout to get the desired degree of coconut flavour and so, created a quick coconut stout for our experimentation. We then mixed a mashup of the Kaffir Lime Pale with Saison 14, but also kept some Saison 14 aside. We got carefully blending, tasting and comparing. As rudimentary as the tests were, it all tasted good and provided some security that we weren't all embarking on a collaboration that would put out downright rank tasting beer.

We brewed Coconhagen Interpretation, the Coconut Stout, at our place with WW over (it can be found in bottle, keg and cask). It's got a fair bit of chocolate malt and is full of oats for a creamy mouthfeel and luxurious taste to soften the darker and robust flavours of the style. Weighing in at 6.5%, it's a pretty typical ABV for us and we like a stout to have er, well, some "strength". We've hopped this treat of a brew, with our beloved Sorachi Ace for the fresh coconut aroma and flavour we mentioned earlier, and thrown some classic EKG so it's bitter enough so you're not fooled that you're drinking a liquid chocolate bar. It is wittily named after the Copenhagen Interpretation, an expression of the meaning of Quantum Mechanics that explains why the same quantum particle may behave in many different ways.  If you're wondering why it's getting so tech-y all of a sudden, you'll need to keep that brain of yours working a bit more to derive the solution.

Kwantum State.png

At WW, we made Kwantum State, the Kaffir Lime Saison (it can be found in keg and cans). With a suitable pale and light malt-bill for easy-drinking qualities, Belle Saison yeast and Kaffir Lime, the beer has a twist on the citrus edge. Spiciness from the French farmhouse yeast compliments the zesty lime which works intricately with white grape notes from Nelson Sauvin hops. Plus, there is more Sorachi love going on with that thrown in too for lemon sherbert and some coconut. Another carefully formulated beer, so-named after Quantum State...I'm sure you're following the trend.

Bringing the two together and blending a 50:50 mix, the blended product is called Such a Bohr. The name a nod to our unconventional collaboration methods and to Niels Bohr, the Danish Physicist who made monumental progress in understanding Quantum Theory. (At this point, if the penny hasn't dropped you ought to understand why you flunked A-levels Science). Such a Bohr can found in keg and cans. 

All these beers are launching at BrewDog Shepherd's Bush from 6pm tonight. Come along to meet and greet their makers, and taste the two separate beers and the clever blend physic-ally for yourselves. We're very excited for the beers and the event.

* What will, is we've actually used up all our Sorachi Ace and  we're still going out buying or trading for more Sorachi. Thanks Cloudwater, thanks WW! There's no stopping us #SorachiLove.

Poll to Choose The Maiden's Favourite Hops

Scream for me beer drinkers! SCREAM FOR ME BEER……. Ok sorry, I do get carried away, and I have the obvious selection of music playing in the background as I type.

Back in July 2016 we released the first of our Hops Maiden England series. The label text outlined the idea, and that’s what Cut & Paste was made for right?

“Yes, we find sanctuary in those big tropical fruit, citrus, piney U.S. and New World hops. But you dont have to be clairvoyant to see the problems.  Unfortunately, with the explosion of new craft breweries around the world, these hops are getting harder to reliably source from year to year.

We have taken on the challenge to create a really great Pale Ale, with just English hops. There are many classic English Pale Ales, but we wanted to get a little closer to the American Pale Ale, to bridge the styles a little. So with a set grain bill as the base of the beer, we will be experimenting with as many interesting new English hops as we can get our hands on, releasing several different versions until the Hop Maiden has found the perfect combination, and we can christen a new core beer.

This is the Hop Maiden. She does not listen to heavy Metal, but that girl will run to the hills to find us the best in English hops. “ (Worked out what I’m listening to yet?)

Since then we have brewed 5 different variations, and the beer gone down well with drinkers. It has been a lot of fun and challenging at the same time. Also, it has been very tempting to continue forward and have the hops change with each and every batch, like Little Things That Kill and Holy Hoppin’ Hell. But, we have beers that change and that was never the point of this project. We really enjoyed all the versions we brewed; some more than others. It is also debatable whether we achieved our goal, but a great beer that everyone at the brewery enjoys immensely has been born.

We all have our favourite "Hops Maiden England" and we are searching the Internet's rating sites, but we also want your help in deciding. So, it is time to dust off your beer note books, delve into the dark corners of your memory, find that napkin, anything and anywhere you noted down your thoughts on each or any of the beers. Use this info to get online and rate the version(s) you got to try, or simply let us know your favorite by voting in the pole below.

We will use this info to decide which version will become the latest member of our core range, under the name "Maiden England".

Listed, most recently brewed first:

  • 12/16 (batch 388) Olicana, UK Cascade, Target
  • 09/16 (batch 369) Target, Phoenix, Olicana
  • 08/16 (batch 354) Target, Archer, UK Cascade
  • 07/16 (batch 337) Olicana, UK Chinook, UK Cascade
  • 06/16 (batch 328) Olicana, Minstrel, Bramling X
Which hop combination should be used for Maiden England? free polls

Part-Time Bookkeeper Required

Weird Beard Brew Co is looking for a part-time experienced bookkeeper. We are a fast-growing company and looking for someone who has the skills to really take charge of this role. Weird Beard Brewing Co started early 2013, by Bryan and Gregg, and is now well positioned in the London and UK brewing scene. We were Rate Beer’s 5th “Best New Brewery in the World” in 2013, and continue to push out innovative and interesting brews.

This role is for 15-20 hours per week, we have some flexibility in terms of how and when those hours are structured. Ideally with at least 2-3 years’ experience with previous responsibility for the finances for a growing business. We are looking at implementing QuickBooks in the setup of this accounting system so knowledge on this is essential.

The duties will include but not limited to:

•             Supplier invoice posting

•             Supplier payments

•             Supplier accounts reconciliation

•             Raising sales ledger invoices

•             Credit control activities

•             Manage the sales ledger

•             Bank reconciliations

•             Being responsible for amounts due for monthly beer duty and VAT.

•             Manage the monthly transactional accounting for the business

•             Reconciling of all balance sheet accounts

•             Ensure that the month end income statement and balance sheet are accurate and complete, all postings are correct and that they reflect the current position of the business.

•             Development of the internal reporting and support of the ongoing development of the systems to improve profitability and business performance

•             Perform daily bank reconciliations

•             Input vendor invoices and credit card expenses

•             Prepare customer credit notes where necessary

•             Follow up aged debtor

Job Locations: Hanwell, West London

Required Experience: 2-3 years, booking keeping and accounting.

Salary: £23-25K pro-rata

A love of craft beer would be advantageous.

Apply today to be part of a great team. Unfortunately, due to the high number of applicants we are unable to reply to everyone. Please get in touch email a copy of your CV and covering letter to


•             Onsite parking

•             Buy beer at wholesale price

•             Flexible working hours

•             Box of beer on your birthday

In the spirit of the B(e)ard

As it's Burn's Night this evening, I felt inclined to contemplate some interesting and/or inspiring Scottish folks, and distract all (and particularly myself) from a certain uninspiring American. I also wanted to give our resident Scotsman, leadbrewer Ryan, something else to feel proud about on this patriotic day.


I'll be honest, listing the cool Scots that come to mind, Robert Burns, isn't top of my list. There's Sean Connery, Sir Arthur Conen Doyle, Robert Carlyle, Ewan McGregor - dare I admit it's because Bryan's got me into G.O.T - there's Richard Madden, as famous actors from things we watch. Music-wise, I'll be the only one from the team pogo-ing with excitement to Idlewild, but there's appreciation for other Scottish bands Mogwai, Primal Scream, Biffy Clyro and Nazareth. But none of these guys, like good ol' Mr Burns, have a day dedicated to them where people drink and be merry, in which case, I do think Burns trumps them in that respect.

So, what's everyone having to accompany their haggis, neeps and tatties? If you're not partaking in any sort of shenanigans to celebrate the life and poetry of Robbie Burns, then here's an excuse, aside from #Tryanuary, to raise a glass of some delicious beer or, even, whisky. Go on!

Our chosen bevvie for tonight would the Wee Heavy we made, "Don't Worry Bee Heavy". This was the second beer we brewed in collaboration with Brussels Beer Project (BBP). A quick jump back to when we first met BBP: Dimitri (Sales, Events and Marketing) and Yves (headbrewer) made the long and arduous journey to our brewery one Open Day. This blog recounts that very first visit and the gesture to do so did not go unappreciated. When we had an opportunity to brew with them, it was a sure “Yes”. When, Yves was back in London town and wished to brew again, that too was a “Yes”. They're super guys.

Yves puffing on one of the cigars which were destined but not used in our 2nd brew

Yves puffing on one of the cigars which were destined but not used in our 2nd brew

BBP’s brews with London brewers have been focussed on the theme of “London”. Our first collab, “Churchill’s Delusion” was a Tobacco Mild, playing up to Milds being a very English beer style and cigars being so very Churchill, a prime British figure. Our second collab, was still to be quintessentially British. With most of the team up in Manchester for IndyMan, Ryan, who we've mentioned is the Scot amongst us, was left to hold the fort and decided upon a Wee Heavy. This style, also known as a "Scotch Ale" characteristically is a copper-brown beer, of moderate strength with sweet, full-bodied malty, caramel flavours and a touch of roasted bitterness. If you've ever had Alesmith's Wee Heavy, then you'd know that definition is a major understatement to how deliciously complex this style could be. 

Our take had to have complexity but also loads of individuality, something BBP and ourselves love to dose our brews with. To achieve this, we used 13 malts as opposed to the normal 3-4 grains. To name a few: roasted barley for the more bitter and toasted notes, chocolate malt for dark choc bitter-meets-sweetness, Special B for candied fruit and caramel flavours, biscuit malt for Digestives sweetness, light & dark crystal as well as amber for more caramel and the quirky addition of peated malt for a smoky edge. Originally, we wanted to continue the theme of our previous collab and make a Tobacco Wee Heavy but there is no way in this country, that we could crumble cigars into a brew. Peated malts suited us fine and we got the layered flavour profile we wanted. We then balanced the roasted and subtle smoked flavours with a lot of honey. We kept the hops earthy and European with EKG and Target. Finally, we pitched Edinburgh Scottish Ale Yeast to give rise to all those raisin, Dundee cake-like, stone-fruit flavours and desired esters that work in harmony with the honey to give the beer its warmth and richness.

Yves powered hard through his post IndyMan hangover and on our labour-intensive kit; BBP made a wise move in the beginning to invest in a pretty much fully automated brewhouse. Despite the tough day, Yves' whole experience, input and opinion of this beer is one that he’s exceptionally proud of. "Don't Worry Bee Heavy" embodies a lot of our and BBP’s ethos and style of brewing. With a nod to all this, we’ve ensured the branding for "Don't Worry Bee Heavy" is just as strong. As an homage to Yves and to our brewer Kit, both with dreadlocks and both who brewed this beer with Ryan, our Lup’in has dreadlocks. The nod to the Scottish element behind the beer and the Scotsman who wrote the recipe, is prominent in the gingery wig and tartan. The name, a playful pun, which I love, on the honey and Wee Heavy aspect of it all.

Wee heavily hope you enjoy this beer as much as we do and even more so if you're enjoying it tonight.


Statement on Gregg Irwin's Forthcoming Departure

Weird Beard Brew Co was originally founded by 2 home brewers: Gregg Irwin and myself, Bryan Spooner. We both started doing a little bit of everything, but slowly and naturally gravitated to certain, and separate roles. Gregg was more naturally suited to the Sales and business side, with his people skills and previous experience of running his own business. While I, with my Engineering background, was much happier in the brewhouse, using my hands, hiding from people and brewing the beer.

As we grew as a company in size and staff, I like to feel that we evolved into a team; a family with everyone involved doing their bit and helping build the brand. Weird Beard is now more than the sum of its parts and indeed more than the 2 original founders. Its identity is the people who work for us: past and present. Currently, we have 8 full-time members of staff: 4 in the brewery and another 4 in the warehouse/office unit just a few doors down on our industrial estate. Both Gregg and myself take leadership of each building and the part of the business of which that represents. Maybe here lies the first signs of our uneasy relationship with each other.

The beer is brewed, packaged, and finally passes a quality control check in Unit 5. I lead the brew team (Ryan, Ben & Kit) and with their help develop and brew 95% of the beers. We have a very open door attitude to the beers we brew, and any member of the Weird Beard team can suggest ideas and help out on a brew day. (Absolutely every member of our team has had to brew with me, even if only, just one time.) With the advice and information from the Sales team, I plan the brew and packaging schedules, along with making sure we have the staff in the brewhouse to facilitate this. The brew team manages all of the consumables required for these tasks like ordering ingredients, bottles, boxes etc.

Once the beer has passed QC and is good for release, it will be taken by our Warehouse Manager, Patrick, from the Warm Room to the warehouse at Unit 9. Once in the warehouse, Patrick orders the labels etc and uses any spare brewhouse staff to get the labels on the bottles. Rachel, our Sales Manager, then manages UK sales of the beer, whilst Gregg is across Export Sales. Natasha, who has filled almost every role in the brewery at some stage, is currently running Events and Social Media. She plans and runs events, orders any promotional items and deals with Customer Support and Social Media. All this happens in Unit 9 under the watchful eye of Gregg, who spends his days chasing money, paying bills, dealing with our accounts and all of the other fun business stuff involved in running a brewery.

Obviously, all important decisions are made by both Gregg and myself. However, we’ve experienced there is often a compromise here, as both directing parties have differing visions of what Weird Beard is and where we should be going. It is not surprising that Gregg has become unhappy; sitting in an office for long hours and from time to time, butting heads with your business partner is not a fun way to spend your days. Also, the ever increasing size of the team means there are more people to attend the fun events, so one of the more enjoyable parts of a director’s role slowly disappears.

Gregg is currently looking for a new role in a new company in the beer industry. When he finds this he will give his 1 month’s notice that he wishes to leave his directorial role in Weird Beard. He will still have a financial interest in the company, remain a shareholder, although reduced to leave me the controlling stake. In the short term, this will mean little will change, except all the top decisions will now be made by just one person. The day-to-day running of the business and brewing will not change. Soon we will be appointing someone to take on the Accounting and Sales, which Gregg has and no longer wants ownership of.

Even so, we will always acknowledge that Gregg has played a vitally important part in Weird Beard. We would not be who we are today without him and would, quite possibly, not exist. But his departure need not be a bad thing. First off, someone else in the industry is going to get a dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate new member of their team. Gregg can hopefully find his mojo and get behind making some beer he is truly passionate about again. As far as Weird Beard goes, the beers we brew will be the same; it will be the same people coming up with the ideas and making the beer but with just one person at the helm, it will be one vision. There will be no more compromise, no lengthy to and thro that often end in a stalemate with no change and no progression. Any underlying tension because of differences in directors’ opinions that has hung over the brewery like a cloud will disperse, leaving morale higher and leading to a much more relaxed environment.

I'm not saying it will be plain sailing and easy from here; there are challenges ahead. We need to find the right person to fill Gregg’s day-to-day role, but we are not looking to fill his incredibly large boots. The staff will no doubt feel uneasy whilst any changes take effect and while things settle. Sales may fall as Social Media potentially gets into a panic over Gregg's departure. It’s important that people beyond the brewery realise there has always been a quieter person by Gregg’s side also running the brewery and willing to take on a lot of the responsibilities Gregg will be leaving behind . My role is the one which will evolve the most in this time and I have prepared myself for this.

We will all miss Gregg and also Alison, Gregg’s wife who has been a great help and ray of light around the brewery since day one. We all wish him the very best of luck for the future and hope to see and work with him many times yet, wherever he goes. Moving forward, Weird Beard will continue to do what we do best and keep putting out new and interesting beers. We’ve already released some excellent new beers this year and have plenty more where those came from. Also, we’re looking forward to many more prestigious festivals this year. In terms of physical expansion, we are already growing some more, taking control of our third unit in our industrial estate in the coming days. We are not going let this change in our team, as significant as Gregg has been, slow us down. We can assure you, we will be making the best of this time of change. Collectively, we have plenty of aspirations, new recipes and plans and I am determined for us to see them through.

Bryan Spooner

Co Owner, Head Brewer, Production Manager

Pig Smasher - The tail about the beer

26th October 2016.

It was an extra special day for our Weird Beard calendars. For those who have been following us for a while, you may know it marked our 4 years of “Weird Beard Brew Co” coming into fruition. For those who follow us more closely and are close to us, it also marked headbrewer and co-founder, Bryan’s birthday. And the cherry on the top, we brewed with the guys at Against The Grain (ATG), at their brewpub over in Louisville, Kentucky!

Let’s set the scene a little more around this collaboration brewday...We had a couple of the team over in Louisville for the annual Shelton Brothers’ Festival. This awesome fest moves around the States, is held each year and all the National and International breweries, which the Shelton Brothers’ distribute, are invited.  So we knew we’d been in town where Against The Grain have been making their innovative beers and it so happened, a couple of Indy Man Beer Con’s ago, we’d struck up a friendship with the founding members at ATG. Well, if jumping around to “Jump Around” in the deep-end of a drained pool at one of the UK’s best Beer Festivals is by any means a definition of friendship. I digress...The equation of us being in Louisville and catching up with ATG meant a beer needed to be made together. With Bryan and my flights booked, the brewday was booked in and we were all set to make beer!

The brewpub is one of 2 of ATG breweries; it is their first location and situated in Slugger Field at the corner of Jackson and Main Streets, Downtown Louisville. The actual brewery part is located above the smokehouse bar and 2 storeys up a ladder. This made for a pretty awesome view of the restaurant filling up as the brewday progressed. See picture below. The collaborative brew team consisted of ATG’s brewery operations manager and one of the founders, Adam, their headbrewer, Amelia, and lead brewer, Brian plus our headbrewer, Bryan. I was more behind the scenes/behind the screens social-media-ing the action. We were greeted bright and early by all including another founder, Jerry, with the quintessentially American breakfast of coffee and donuts. With a maple syrup iced one with candied bacon in hand, this is how Bryan’s birthday brewday commenced. Looking back, the fact Bryan had a pig-based donut and the beer being called “Pig Smasher” is quite fitting indeed!

2016-10-26 13.52.37.jpg

Now for the important bit, the beer itself; we had decided to go for an American Red. We don’t get to see those often and always enjoy them when we do. To get that truly red hue, the grainbill featured, amongst other malts: Special X, CaraRye, Red malt and a touch of roasted barley. For the hops, it being an American Red we went for....yes, you’ve guessed it, all-American hops: Bravo, Simcoe and Chinook in the Kettle. For the dry-hopping we added more Bravo and threw some Summit into the mix.  For an alternative take on the style and to play up on the caramel semi-sweetness that lies beneath the hoppiness of American Reds, we added ample honey into the boil. The resulting beer ticked all the boxes for a classic American Red, chock full of lovely, citrus & piney hops but with the honey adding an interesting dimension of sweetness to the flavour profile. At 6.8%, it goes down easy; not too sweet, not too resinous and as the label states: no animals were harmed in the making of this beer! There may come a day bacon goes into a beer of ours (certainly not my idea) but as things stand we’re putting out vegetarian and quite often also vegan friendly brews.

As for the name of the beer, that is something of a story. We at Weird Beard are quite selective about how we name our beers and because of that we do have some fantastic names for our beers. ATG are particularly playful and witty in naming their beers so we really had to come up with something that fitted the bill. And this small dilemma manifested itself for a little while as we had no obvious inspiration for a name after the brewday. I remind you that we were over in the USA primarily for the Shelton Brothers’ Festival. This kicked off 2 days after our brewday with ATG with the first day of the beer-filled antics being on the Friday. The venue for it was at the Copper & Kings Brandy Distillery in Butchertown district of Louisville. It was a delightful day, lots of sunshine, lots of people and lots of beer. There was a not-so-nice aspect to the day and that was the Eau De Butchertown. Being a vegan myself, you’d think I may be escalating the situation but ask anyone who was there, that smell was potent! It came in waves and it got quite bad that someone had to enquire “What actually is THAT smell?” To which the response was: “Oh they’re smashing pigs today”. 

Reminiscing back to the brewday, and our time in Louisville, the idea of naming our ATG collab "Pig Smasher" as suggested by Brian, with “an ode to the ol' Butchertown stink” (quoting Amelia from ATG) seemed like a very Weird Beard and Against the Grain thing to do.